Gustave Caillebotte, Paris Street, Rainy Day, 1877 | Oil on canvas, 212,2 x 276 cm | © bpk / The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY

Exhibition

Gustave Caillebotte (1848–1894) was one of the central figures of French Impressionism, yet he is among those artists who remain to be discovered today. His fame was initially founded on his role as a patron, and only later did he gain full recognition as a painter.

Caillebotte’s painting “Paris Street, Rainy Day” (“Rue de Paris, temps de pluie”), completed in 1877 and now an icon of Impressionism, is coming to the Alte Nationalgalerie. It is considered one of the artist’s principle works, and is a showpiece of the Art Institute of Chicago. The monumental painting has rarely travelled to Europe in the past, and this will be its very first appearance in Berlin. The fact that “Paris Street, Rainy Day” is being shown here is certainly a sensation, and results from a unique international cooperation: the Art Institute of Chicago will be loaned Edouard Manet’s “In the Conservatory” for a major monographic exhibition; in return, the Alte Nationalgalerie will be able to show this masterpiece by an artist who is otherwise not represented in their collection. Thereby both German and American audiences will benefit from the unique opportunity to visit exhibitions with rarely available works.

Caillebotte’s groundbreaking piece with its almost life-sized figures and unconventional perspective was presented at the Third Impressionist Exhibition of 1877, and even today it has lost none of its intriguing allure. “Paris Street, Rainy Day” exemplifies both the Impressionists ‘new vision’ and Caillebotte’s adoption of modern urban motifs. Carefully selected studies and preparatory sketches for his principal work allow visitors to the exhibition to better understand this atypical Impressionist’s creative process.

Close consideration of Caillebotte’s paintings and painting methods opens new perspectives on French Impressionism. Pure painterly appearance is not paramount in his work – his paintings captivate with bold perspectives and structured pictorial space. The seemingly random framing of the view, and the striking immediacy of the image are what particularly underscore the modernity at play here.

This focussed exhibition in the Alte Nationalgalerie will simultaneously highlight Caillebotte’s role as a patron. At only twenty-nine years old in 1877, he was not only the youngest but also the most active member of this group. As a man of considerable wealth, he played a leading role in financing and organising the first group exhibitions. For such occasions he would often lend works – by fellow artists such as Renoir, Manet, Degas, Cézanne and Monet – from his own collection. The tight network of the Impressionists, in whose midst Caillebotte found himself as friend and supporter, will become apparent in this exhibition in the Alte Nationalgalerie. The special loan from Chicago will allow new readings of the local collection of French Impressionist works, by illustrating the numerous connections between Caillebotte and his fellow artists.

Caillebotte’s endowment of his important collection to the French state helped the Impressionists, despite some obstacles, to finally achieve the recognition that had previously failed to materialise for them through public collections. There are also parallels between Caillebotte’s influence and that of Hugo von Tschudi, thendirector of the Nationalgalerie, who simultaneously accomplished the same goals through his acquisition policy in Berlin.

Plan your visit

EXHIBITION RUNS

May 17 – September 15, 2019

VENUE

Alte Nationalgalerie
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Museumsinsel Berlin
Bodestraße 1-3
10178 Berlin

ADMISSION

regular: 10 Euro
reduced: 5 Euro
Book tickets online

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

U-Bahn U6 (Friedrichstraße)
S-Bahn S1, S2, S25, S26 (Friedrichstraße); S3, S5, S7, S9 (Hackescher Markt)
Tram M1, 12 (Am Kupfergraben); M4, M5, M6 (Hackescher Markt)
Bus TXL (Staatsoper); 100, 200 (Lustgarten); 147 (Friedrichstraße)

SERVICES

Café/book store/free cloak room

OPENING HOURS

Monday
closed
Tuesday
10 am – 6 pm
Wednesday
10 am – 6 pm
Thursday
10 am – 8 pm
Friday
10 am – 6 pm
Saturday
10 am – 6 pm
Sunday
10 am – 6 pm

SPECIAL OPENING HOURS DURING PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

Ascension Day (Thursday, 30.05.2019): 10 am – 6 pm
Pentecost (Saturday, 08.06. to Monday, 10.06.2019): 10 am – 6 pm

Catalogue

To accompany the exhibition, a richly illustrated catalogue is being published in a German and a English edition.

26.5 cm x 20 cm
Paperback with flaps
120 pages, 75 colour illustrations

Edited by Ralph Gleis

Alte Nationalgalerie

The idea of establishing a cultural and educational centre across from the Berlin Palace dates back to the time of Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who dreamt of creating a “sanctuary for art and science” on the site. The basic architectural concept for the Alte Nationalgalerie – a temple-like building raised on a plinth decorated with motifs from antiquity – came from the king himself.

More information

Partner

The exhibition is made possible by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie and supported by the Leinemann-Stiftung für Bildung und Kunst.

Media partners